The Buffalo Springfield at the Bridge School Benefit, October 23rd 2010.
The show started around 5pm, with a light rain falling. I thought that the upper concourse at Shoreline would be covered, but it isn’t. So everybody, except for some of the people closer to the stage, were in the rain off and on through the evening. The folks up on the lawns seemed to be well prepared. The Letter offered my his Giants cap when it was coming down a bit harder towards the end of the night.
What follows is to the best of my recollection. There were some Native American singers and dancers blessing the stage with the Hoop Dance, and then Neil Young came out to sing Sugar Mountain and Comes a Time (with Pegi Young). He always starts off the night with a couple of old favorites, then introduces the first act. Grizzly Bear started things off. I knew nothing about them ahead of time, except for the cool name they go by. They have very good singers, but I don’t think I’d seek out more of their music. It wasn’t my cup of tea. Next up was Modest Mouse, and they were a lot more interesting. The Letter asked me after their set what group they reminded me of, and I said “The Band”, and he said of course, that’s correct. After that (or maybe between those sets) the MC guy told us the Phillies were up 2-0 after the first inning. Due to the concentration of iPhone/AT&T users and the limitations of 3G at Shoreline, we couldn’t get game updates except through this guy (at first). Lucinda Williams was on next, and she was very sweet and nice. Which surprised me a little bit, because her music doesn’t shy away from the tough talk. Letter recalled for me that Lucinda worked at one of the bookstores I managed (the Glendale Galleria B. Dalton) a long time ago, and in the only encounter I had with her there (she got her first record deal right before I took over as manager) she was very sweet and nice. So, no change there. Her set was terrific. She dedicated her song “Ventura” to Neil Young (it mentions him in one of the verses). That’s a great song. Then Pegi Young came out to sing with her; Pegi had recorded one of Lucinda’s songs on her recent album, which Lucinda said was “a real honor”. After that, a surprise guest; Emmylou Harris came out to sing harmony on “Greenville”. I love that song. And Emmylou Harris – a true legend in her own time. After that set Letter and I stepped out to get beverages, and missed the introduction for the next act, Jackson Browne and David Lindley. They sounded great. David Lindley played a beautiful version of Bruce Springsteen’s “Brothers Under the Bridge”. At another break between sets the MC told us that it was 2-2 now, but the Phillies had the bases loaded. Then the guy in front of us turned around, making a horizontal, side-to-side motion with his right hand, which I guess meant “forget that” and told us “they got out of it”. He brought a transistor radio! To the Bridge Concert! That is pretty hard-core. From then on, this young fellow kept section 203 rows A through D up to date on the game. Which would figure prominently in Billy Idol’s set. I might be a little mixed up on the sequence of the acts in this middle section, but I’m pretty sure Kris Kristofferson was next. He was supposed to be appearing with Merle Haggard, but apparently Merle is under the weather these days. It appeared to be difficult for him playing alone; he seemed to be genuinely worried about Merle, and I’m sure he was more nervous playing his own songs without his music partner. He edited “Help me make it through the night” to end with “through tonight”. People were very supportive, even though his set was a little shaky. I was reminded of the Jeff Bridges character in Crazy Heart. We were about halfway into the show now. We’ll take a brief intermission.
Here’s Letter, showing me an iPhone picture while I take his picture with my iPhone. It’s a twin thing. At this point it’s not raining, but later on it was, and he switched to the hood and loaned me his cool Giants cap. A real mensch.